There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things – Niccolo Machiavelli
Each director at NIE had, at different times in the short history of the institution, courageously taken on the challenges of leading NIE. The current achievements of NIE rest heavily on great men and women at the institution who have (and had) shouldered the heavy responsibilities of leadership. We pay tribute to these generous souls as we welcome our new Director, Prof Christine Goh, and her team. Prof Goh and her team have graciously taken on the duties of steering NIE towards fresh grounds at a time where Singapore’s educational landscape is on the cusp of change.
As a matter of fact, education is often a powerful tool to change the world. In this issue, we see students and staff taking the lead in making positive changes to the concepts of teaching and learning. Mr S. Rethinavel, a lecturer at VPA, discussed about the value of using drama pedagogy to facilitate both students’ learning as well as student teachers’ development. The same kinds of concerns for students, especially those with special needs, appeared in Assoc Prof Tan Ai-Girl’s (Early Childhood and Special Education) piece on the use of meta-lenses to empower special needs educators in their teaching for humanity. Students are also empowered through the cultivation of habits of mind. Assoc Prof Lee Ngan Hoe (Mathematics and Mathematics Education) believed that by using tools, such as problem wheel, and question prompts at an early stage, will help students be cognisant of their own thinking processes.
We hope the news and articles in this latest issue of NIEWS will inspire you to take on changes in your own lives.
Kehk Bee Lian